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Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour is a taonga (treasure) to those who live, work and play in its waters, on its beaches and along its ridges. Discover a remarkable life in the spectacular heart of Lyttelton, boasting a rich history, diverse culture and a style all of its own.

The South Island of New Zealand is seen by Ngāti Wheke as Te Waka o Aoraki. Whakaraupō - and the wider Banks Peninsula - was created as Tūterakiwhānoa (Aoraki’s relation who came in search of him and his brothers) raked rubble from their crashed waka into a heap to clear what is now the Canterbury Plains. Generations later the harbour was given its name of Whakaraupō – the reed-filled harbour – by the great explorer Tamatea-PōkaiWhenua.  The name Ōhinehou or Lyttelton refers to a young girl (hine) who longed to be with the Patupaiarehe (fairies) who loved the harbour. 

Whakaraupō was first settled by Waitaha and Ngāti Māmoe, with Ngāi Tahu assuming mana whenua of the area in the 18th century through both conquest and intermarriage. The earliest Pākehā in and around Banks Peninsula were whalers, sealers and flax traders, with the most significant contact between Māori and European beginning with the whalers in the 1830’s. In the 1840’s Pākehā settlers arrived in Whakaraupō Harbour to establish communities and lease land for farms. In 1849 the Port Cooper Deed was signed and Pākehā settlement expanded throughout the harbour. In 1850 the Canterbury Associations First Four Ships landed in what is now Lyttelton, with their passengers climbing up the Bridle Path over the Port Hills to establish the settlement of Christchurch.

The Shroom Room

An owner-operated small restaurant and bar, focusing on diversity and sustainability with a small and constantly changing menu.

Harbour Co-op

A community-owned co-operative, Harbour Co-op supports local, organic, fair trade and wholefoods producers.

SUPER Restaurant

Tapas bar and restaurant with a reputation as one of the most popular eateries in town. SUPER is exactly what its name suggests.

Civil and Naval

Cosy, cool and equally approachable. The emphasis is on simple, well executed and affordable European dishes.


The weirdest, coolest little bar and live music venue in New Zealand. Loved by the best people and bands (U2 included). 


Soulstyle Organic Hair Salon offers a full range of professional cuts, colours, styles and treatments, using products that are organic.

Lyttelton Coffee Co-op

The dark horse of Christchurch coffee roasting and supply, also showcasing local artwork, music gigs, weekly life drawing and spin classes.


A highly connected world lies just outside your door with a local bus and ferry helping you get around seamlessly.


Escape to another world with Lyttelton’s very own library containing 1000’s of books, newspapers and magazines.

Pharmacy & Post

The local pharmacy since the 1850s with everything you need to keep your body running smoothly. Also includes a post-office.

Lyttelton Arts Factory

Lyttelton’s latest performing arts venue - where practitioners can devise, rehearse and present original works in one place.

Community Garden

The communal garden creates a place for people to share knowledge,  learning to grow food and minimise waste.


Flat-white? Pinot Noir? Tapas?

It’s all within easy reach.

Discover a remarkable life in the spectacular heart of Lyttelton, boasting a rich history, diverse culture and a style all of its own. The township has everything people need in their daily lives within easy reach, from your favourite cafe to spectacular walking tracks.

In 1911 Collett’s Chemist opened on the corner of London Street and Oxford Street  in Lyttelton. Appropriately, with a nod to its rich past the building has retained the name Collett’s Corner

To many local people, Collett’s Corner is part of Lyttelton’s heritage. Although looking very different now, it is a special place for the Lyttelton community and a fitting tribute to the Collett family.  David Collett qualified as a pharmacist in 1908 and opened the chemist shop, concocting many of his own remedies at the pharmacy - Collett’s Cough elixir being a fine example.

One of their sons, JB Collett, (James Bruce, but regarded as Bruce) qualified as a pharmacist in 1944 and went into partnership with his father in the business.  Bruce then took over the business in 1949.  In 1954 the original building was demolished and a new structure was erected on the site which included the chemist shop on the corner and three other shops.  Bruce retired in 1990 as a pharmacist and also sold the pharmacy.  

Bruce Collett along with his brothers and sisters and his own children were all born in Lyttelton and educated Lyttelton Main School.  Bruce became Mayor of Lyttelton in 1958 which is a position he held for 18 years.  Bruce passed away at the age of 92 in 2012 and Barbara passed away at 2014. Their children and grandchildren still live in Canterbury. It seems fitting that we are now creating a wellness centre for whole body health on the original Collett’s careness site.

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